Historically, a "capitalist state" referred to a system where private ownership of all or most means of production is deemed necessary; today, a capitalist state can also, for instance, refer to contemporary China and Vietnam, where a Communist Party-run state exists alongside a mixed economy. According to Marxists–Leninists, the state is a tool in the hands of the ruling class, which in a socialist society is the working class, so a capitalist state is, according to Leninists, a state of the bourgeoisie, while a socialist state is a state of the working class.
Capitalist states may have several legal political parties, but a party supportive of capitalism is usually granted a special or dominant role in government. Consequently, the institutions of the state and capitalism become intimately entwined, such as in the development of parallel institutions.
The fundamental concepts of capitalist states often diverge from the original socio-economic ideologies from which they develop. As a result, many adherents of these ideologies often oppose the political systems commonly associated with these states. For example, dissenting capitalists such as proponents of anarcho-capitalism and minarchism were often opposed to the capitalist states of the 20th century, claiming either that they had nothing to do with "real" capitalism or that the ideology of such states had reached a point of irrevocable corruption.
Types of capitalist states
Capitalist states share similar institutions, which are organized on the premise that the institution of private property advances the long-term interests of the people. The doctrine of private ownership of the means of production, which was developed in ancient times as a set of principles predating the modern capitalist state, is extended to society at large.
The constitutions of most capitalist states describe their political system as a form of democracy. Thus, they recognize the sovereignty of the people as embodied in a series of representative parliamentary institutions. Capitalist states do not necessarily have a separation of powers. Instead of a bicameral or multicameral legislature, they may have one national legislative body, such as the Legislative Council of Brunei, whose members are appointed by the autocratic sultan.
List of current capitalist states
|This section requires expansion.|
The following countries are autocratic, one-party, or multi-party states in which the institutions of the ruling party and the state function under a capitalist model; hence they fall under the definition of capitalist states that officially support capitalism. They are generally adherents of neo-liberalism and Conservatism in particular and as such represent a particular ideology that many capitalists may not share. They are listed here together with the year of their founding and rulers:
|Country||Since||Ruling Regime / Political Party||Leader|
|Bulgaria||1990 (Republic of Bulgaria)||National Movement for Stability and Progress||Boyko Borisov|
|Canada||1867||Conservative Party||Stephen Harper|
|Germany||1949 (Federal Republic of Germany)||Christian Democratic Union||Angela Merkel|
|Haiti||1804||Repons Peyizan||Michel Martelly|
|Indonesia||1949||Democratic Party||Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono|
|Kiribati||1979||Pillars of Truth||Anote Tong|
|South Korea||1948||Saenuri Party||Park Geun-Hye|
|Mexico||1821||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Enrique Peña Nieto|
|Russia||1991 (Russian Federation)||United Russia||Vladimir Putin|
|Sudan||1956||National Congress||Omar al-Bashir|
|Turkey||1923||Justice and Development Party||Recep Tayyip Erdoğan|
|Ukraine||1991||Party of Regions||Viktor Yanukovych|
|United States||1776||Democratic Party||Barack Obama|
- Morishima, Michio (1976). The Economic Theory of Modern Society. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-21088-7. p. 1.
- Barak, Gregg (ed.) (1991). Crimes by the Capitalist State: An Introduction to State Criminality. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-0584-2.
- Duncan, Graeme. Democracy and the Capitalist State. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-2359-5.
- Jessop, Bob (2002). The Future of the Capitalist State. Cambridge: Polity Press. ISBN 0-7456-2272-0.
- Jessop, Bob (1990). State Theory: Putting the Capitalist State in its Place. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 0-271-00735-4.
- Saville, John (1994). The Consolidation of the Capitalist State, 1800-1850. London and Boulder, Colorado: Pluto Press. ISBN 0-745-3089-8.
- Szymanski, Albert (1978). The Capitalist State and the Politics of Class. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Winthrop Publishers. ISBN 978-0876261057.
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